Gail Honeyman and Gill Sims have been shortlisted for the inaugural Comedy Women in Print Prize (CWIP), with the shortlist dominated by HarperCollins authors.
The Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine author (HarperCollins) and Why Mummy Swears author (HarperCollins) have been nominated in the published category alongside Asia Mackay for Killing It (Zaffre), YA debut writer Laura Steven for The Exact Opposite of Okay (Egmont) and Balli Kaur Jaswal for Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (HarperCollins).
The published novels were praised by judges for "celebrating the range of comedic styles, excellence, quality and above all individuality in witty women authors." A £2000 cash award is up for grabs for the winner with £250 for each shortlisted author.
Shortlisted in the unpublished category are Cow Girl by Kirsty Eyre, The Lonely Fajita by Abigail Mann, The Ladies’ Guide to Finding Love by Helen Doyle, Love Is Strange by Lotte Mullan and New Year at The Duck and Grapes by Jo Lovett-Turner. The winner writer of the unpublished category will be offered a publishing contract and £5000 advance with HarperFiction. The unpublished runner-up will receive a free place on the MA course in Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire.
The CWIP was launched by actress, author and stand-up Helen Lederer in response to the lack of exposure for female comedy writing, and as a way of celebrating fresh and established talent.
Commenting on the shortlists, Lederer said: "The published category shortlist demonstrates the range of debut and established comedy women writers. While the impact and perception of wit on the page will always be gloriously varied – I was happy to observe a commonality of passion and praise from the judges (without judging myself!). CWIP’s first year has at the very least, shone a light on funny female fiction."
The Comedy Women in Print Prize winners will be announced at an award ceremony at the Conduit Club on Wednesday 10th July. Judges for the CWIP include Katy Brand, Shazia Mirza, Marian Keyes, Jenny Eclair, and Susan Calman.
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